Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 90, Issue 3–4, pp 263–274 | Cite as

Using aridity indices to describe some climate and soil features in Eastern Europe: a Romanian case study

  • C. Paltineanu
  • I. F. Mihailescu
  • I. Seceleanu
  • C. Dragota
  • F. Vasenciuc
Article

Summary

As a result of climatic change associated with global warming, aridity is an increasing problem in many parts of the world, including south-eastern and southern regions of Romania. This paper clarifies the concept of aridity, and discusses related concepts including indices of aridity, and their influence on some landscape and soil features including climatic water deficit (WD) and the depth to soil carbonates (DC). As used here, WD is calculated as the difference between precipitation sum (P) and the Penman-Monteith reference evapotranspiration sum (ETo-PM) over certain periods. Another three well-known aridity indices are also considered: De Martonne’s index (Iar-DM), Thornthwaite’s index (Iar-TH), the UNESCO (1979) P/ETo-PM ratio index (Iar-P/ETo-PM). WD is as high as −450 mm during the growing season in the most arid, south-eastern and southern regions of Romania, especially in the Dobrogea and Baragan areas. In other regions of Romania, including most of the plains and plateaus where agriculture is an important branch of the economy, WD reaches −100 to −300 mm during the growing season. The above aridity indices were spatially interpolated for specific periods by kriging, to generate relatively homogeneous areas. WD can also be seen as an aridity index which has the advantage of a more accurate quantification of the water supply needed for a reference crop, e.g. grass under standardised conditions, for various geographical regions. WD is significantly correlated with the other aridity indexes and with DC. This paper also examines the risk of aridity spreading, and suggests improvements to the water management system for agriculture in Romania.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Paltineanu
    • 1
  • I. F. Mihailescu
    • 2
  • I. Seceleanu
    • 3
  • C. Dragota
    • 4
  • F. Vasenciuc
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Institute for Fruit Growing, Pitesti–MaracineniDistrict ArgesRomania
  2. 2.Ovidius UniversityConstantaRomania
  3. 3.Research Institute of Soil ScienceAgrochemistry and Environmental ProtectionBucharestRomania
  4. 4.National Meteorological AdministrationBucharestRomania

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